Medical Students’ Perceptions of Their Learning Environment, Well-Being and Academic Self-Concept


This study investigated medical students’ perceptions of their learning environment and how these related to well-being in terms of experienced exhaustion and losing interest in personal studies. The goal was to also examine whether students’ perceptions and experiences of well-being related to their academic self-concept. Experiences were compared between lecture-based learning (LBL) and problem-based learning (PBL) environments. The MED NORD questionnaire was used to measure students’ experiences of their learning environment, experienced well-being (i.e. exhaustion and lack of interest) and academic self-concept. A total of 610 students participated. Structural equation modelling was used to investigate relationships between the variables under study. A cross-sectional design was used to compare experiences between different medical schools. Worry about future workload was found to positively relate to exhaustion, whereas worry and study satisfaction both negatively related to lack of interest. Experienced high workload related to both exhaustion and lack of interest. In turn, lack of interest was negatively related to academic self-concept, whereas exhaustion was positively related to it. PBL students reported higher levels of worry concerning future workloads, but they also experienced receiving more feedback. In addition, novice PBL students experienced higher levels of exhaustion and better academic self-concept than LBL students. No such differences were found between students in the clinical phase. Lack of interest concerning personal studies appeared to be more unfavourable than experiences of exhaustion, because the former was related to low academic self-concept. The PBL environment appeared challenging, but only during the first years of study.

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Litmanen, T. , Loyens, S. , Sjöblom, K. and Lonka, K. (2014) Medical Students’ Perceptions of Their Learning Environment, Well-Being and Academic Self-Concept. Creative Education, 5, 1856-1868. doi: 10.4236/ce.2014.521207.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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